The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum serves as the cultural heart of the Florida International University campus and an essential part of Miami’s thriving arts community.
The building includes nine galleries (five of which use natural light), a lecture hall, museum shop and café, art storage and public spaces. It exhibits work from the university’s permanent collection, temporary exhibitions and current educational programs.
The museum footprint and massing are a geometric response to the L-shaped site. Framing the university’s Avenue of the Arts, the building is angled around a lake and preserves a large ficus tree. The solid form of angles and curves is clad in a pink-gray Chinese granite that glistens in the Florida sunlight. A three-story glass atrium forms a transparent gate between the campus and the adjacent lake.
The galleries are grouped in threes, giving curators flexibility in display, lighting and scheduling. In the five galleries with skylights, the museum can exhibit works in UV-filtered daylight. An array of large, custom-designed “petals” control light levels and colors, preferentially scattering natural light to display walls.
All exhibition spaces, archives, art storage and mechanical equipment are above the ground floor, protected from flooding and able to withstand hurricane-force winds.